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Arizona Reverend Performs Exorcisms via Skype

Bob Larson, a reverend at the Spiritual Freedom Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, has developed a high-tech exorcism ritual involving Skype video calls. The reverend, who claims to have performed over 20,000 exorcisms in 40 years, is now giving possessed people the option of banishing their demons from the comfort of their living rooms.

“In simple terms, an exorcism is the process of expelling an evil spirit from an individual who has become somehow invaded and demonized by that being, and sending it back to hell and freeing the person,” he said in an interview with ABC news.

Larson is the self-proclaimed ‘world’s foremost expert on cults, the occult and supernatural phenomena’. In the past, he has appeared on shows like Oprah and Larry King Live. There are numerous video clips on YouTube of his exorcisms. A particular video where he came face-to-face with a gay demon went viral a couple of years ago.

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Photo: ABC15 video caption

Now, Larson is in the news again for his Skype-based exorcisms. On his website, the reverend writes: “It’s your chance to receive ministry from Bob Larson in the privacy and comfort of your own home.” For those who can’t use Skype, he even has an alternative: “If you don’t have a computer to Skype your encounter visually, you can still receive ministry from Bob with a phone Encounter.”

If you look further into the website, you’ll come across a whole lot of amusing things. Like this Demon Test featuring 21 questions to “quickly determine an individual’s spiritual needs.” I was tempted to try it out, but decided against it when it asked me to pay up. Larson also offers ‘Covenant Eyes’ to protect your family on the internet. Not from demons, but from the temptation of clicking on adult-oriented websites and other such stuff.

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Photo: ABC15 video caption

One of Larson’s most recent Skype clients was a Norwegian man named David, who supposedly had four demons inside of him. The reverend is seen thrusting a cross and frantically waving a bible at his computer screen. “Are you Bob the Builder?” David screams in reply and laughs maniacally.

In case you’re wondering if all this might be staged, Larson explains that it’s all real. “There would be no reason to theatrically stage this for any reason. Why would anybody do that? I have no idea,” he said.

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Photo: ABC15 video caption

A 60-minute Skype exorcism session earns him US $295. We’re not sure how successful these session have been so far, but religious leaders and members of the Catholic community aren’t very pleased about them.

Revered Isaac Kramer, the director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists (an organization that trains and ordains exorcists) says that the process cannot be done over the internet. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised,” he said. “Chances are, they’re going to throw the computer screen across the room and destroy everything.” That’s actually a very valid point.

 

Larson isn’t the first to attempt exorcism over Skype. In 2010, Israeli Kabbalist Rabbi HaRav David Batzri tried to exorcise a possessed Brazilian man online, but was not successful. Thomas Allen, author of Possessed and an expert on the subject, said: “An exorcism is a religious rite. Neither Skype nor the internet could possibly be used.”

Sources: ABC15, Huffington Post

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